Final Report and Decision on Turitea Wind Farm Proposal
Mighty River Power’s proposal for a wind
farm in Turitea: Final Report and Decision of the Board of
Inquiry into the Turitea Wind Farm Proposal | Ministry for
Report: volume1.pdf - volume2.pdf
Foreword and Decision
The Turitea wind farm proposal was called in by the Minister for the Environment in December 2008. Following the appointment of the Board of Inquiry and the preparation and exchange of evidence by the parties, the hearing commenced in Palmerston North on 6 July 2009. At Mighty River Power’s (MRP’s) request, the hearing was adjourned for five months on 14 October 2009 to allow MRP to reconsider its design of the wind farm layout. Evidence on the redesign was circulated by MRP to all other parties in February 2010 following which the hearing was reconvened on 15 March 2010. This second stage of the hearing concluded on 30 March 2010.
The Draft Report was released on 11 February 2011 with comments on this report being extended to 60 working days at the request of MRP. All parties were also given the opportunity to make any final comments on a number of matters raised in MRP’s comments on the Draft Report, in particular, on the National Policy Statement on Renewable Electricity Generation and MRP’s request to reinstate and/or add up to 12 turbines over and above the number decided on by the Board in its Draft Report decision. All of this resulted in an extended period between the time of the release of the Draft Report and the publication of this Final Report.
During the course of the hearing, the Board heard evidence from a great number of experts, and oral submissions and presentations from numerous submitters. The inquiry involved the consideration of a number of complex and wide-ranging issues. Of considerable concern was the need to keep the number of parties and submitters (of whom there were some 700) fully informed of the legal and practical processes involved in an inquiry like this, and to ensure those who wished to appear had a fair hearing.
While the documentation became all consuming, all parties were kept up to date with the provision of daily transcripts of the record of proceedings. Nevertheless, with so many submitters who wished to be heard in full-time employment, we can only commend the way they organised themselves and the efforts they went to, to provide us with relevant information.
We acknowledge the quality of the submissions and the extensive literature supplied by the submitters as background to their particular concerns especially to do with noise and environmental set-backs.
As the hearing progressed, MRP received a large number of requests from the Board for additional information. We wish to acknowledge to the company the consistently high standard and very timely responses to all of these requests.
The Board also wishes to acknowledge the time and commitment of many submitters and other parties who provided comments on the matters raised by MRP in its comments on the Draft Report.
Throughout the whole inquiry process, all the parties and the Board received a consistently high standard of support services from the Project Co-ordinator and her team. This was not an easy task, particularly during the hearing, where it involved extended hours of work to ensure smooth progress of witnesses and the collation of evidence on a daily basis.
We wish to thank all counsel for the parties, and the representatives of Tararua-Aokautere Guardians Incorporated and Friends of Turitea Reserve Incorporated, for their generous consideration and assistance throughout.
The Board has approved 60 turbines for the Turitea wind farm each with a capacity of up to 3MW, these being:
WT67–WT71, WT96 (six turbines)
Group D: WT1–WT9, WT11–WT14, WT97–WT98, WT30–WT33
Group E: WT10, WT38, WT99–WT107, WT109 (12 turbines)
Group G: WT34–WT37, WT44–WT48, WT110 (10 turbines)
Group F: WT115–WT118 (four turbines)
Group H: WT52, WT111–WT114, WT119–WT121 (eight turbines)
Group K: WT54 (one turbine)
all as shown on the layout plan attached as Appendix 8 to this report and all subject to the approved conditions of consent also attached to this report.